Course Listings

Biology

BIOL 451W Research in Neuroethology (1.5)

Neuroethology takes an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of animal behavior and the underlying neural mechanisms that dictate and respond to physical movement. In this class, we will creatively use the process of science to explore the curious, complex and dynamic world of brains and behavior, from molecules and ion currents to networks and communities. Scientific research is really the maturation of what we all do naturally as children—explore our world with wonder and curiosity. Maturation can retain these playful attitudes while growing the capacity and accuracy of observations and inferences. In the lab we will practice separating observation from inference and develop methodologies—depending on the theme we might be developing ethology (a comparative biological approach to examining animal behavior), confocal microscopy, neurophysiology modeling, &/or electrophysiology. The narrative component of this course aims to grow a working understanding of neuroscience theory; examined through student-led use of literature, presentations, and discussions. As a class we will choose the mechanism of science communication: a) online blog that explores an aspect of neuroscience & society, or b) individual NSF pre-doctorial fellowship grants (GRSA) that define and solve a question at the interface of brains, neuroscience, and evolution.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Natural Sciences
  • Prerequisite: BIOL 245W
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Coddington